More on the Bendmaster saga...

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More on the Bendmaster saga...

Post by corsair on Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:56 am

A while ago I asked Tom Presley about the Bendmasters and he was gracious enough to give a great wee potted history of the design. I post it here and hope that he doesn't mind...



Bendmasters
came in 3 flavors but the common denominator is that the material
content is very consistent. Most of the Asian products used a Zinc and
Nickel alloy with little or no hardening. As you likely have read,
Matsumoku was owned by Japan Steel and partnered with the Singer Sewing
Machine company as a cabinet maker - not really - but that's the easiest
explanation. Since they had the Japan Steel relationship, there were
engineers that could identify alloy content much easier than Gotoh's
norm.

With this said, the Bendmaster content, across all 3
designs, contained an alloy content - Nickel Silver, Zinc and Carbon
Steel. The combination, used by several "high end" US tremolo makers as
well as 2 in Europe, produced a VERY rigid and stable platform. If you
notice, the knife edges will actually cut into the earlier stud posts.
So, there was little deflection or post ride.

A couple of other
points in the overall design was to lighten the "unsprung" weight bias.
Note that there is little gravity impact on the actual trem. One of
the biggest issues we NEVER were able to overcome was the intertial
impact of the weight of the trem bar. It needed to be rigid but it
always weighed too much for my taste. No real solution other than
graphite, which I actually have on a couple of prototypes.

Lateral
bias, fulcrum placement - related to the saddle alignment - and weight
and length of the trem block also were considered important in the
designs. Over time, we adjusted the fulcrum points, saddle design, neck
angle compensation for deflection angles on the string return were only
a few of the design maturation.

We did the original with no
string lock consideration. I didn't really want a "Floyd" at the time.
We also were messing with DuPont for a nut that was slick and strong -
Ceramic actually. Settled on Corian. We added string rollers - nifty
concept that everyone ripped off, and of special note, using saddle
adjustors with fine threads rather than wide. . . less likely to
turnout.

Later, we lowered the set angle which caused another
design impact, then altered the design to allow String locks and later,
locking nuts. I never bought into the locking saddles, though you'll
actually find some of our guitars with a locking nut, locking saddles
AND ball clamps on the trem block. Bendmaster LNS - Direct change out
for an FT. If you find one, let me know as I'll pay for it or sign away
a few protos!


Last edited by corsair on Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:24 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: More on the Bendmaster saga...

Post by Barry on Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:35 am

Terrific info.
Should maybe "sticky-fy" it?

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Re: More on the Bendmaster saga...

Post by Victory Pete on Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:40 pm

I dont have it anymore but my Bendmaster tremolo didnt last very long before it started to corrode (rust?). Also all the allen set screws filled up with gunk and would strip out. After 15 years of no trem I am finally putting in a Floyd. Were they supposed to be made out of a "RustProof" alloy?



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Re: More on the Bendmaster saga...

Post by corsair on Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:19 pm

I haven't heard of that particular complaint before now, though one or two of my Bendmasters have been extremely dirty and have had tiny patches of corrosion, they cleaned up like new....

_________________
FWIW, an after market esoteric nut is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist, and a great way to convert your money into someone else’s.

corsair
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Age : 57
Location : Hervey Bay, Australia.
Registration date : 2008-04-08

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Re: More on the Bendmaster saga...

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